VA, HUD and Jon Bon Jovi Announce “Project Reach” Grand Prize Winner

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the winner of a mobile application competition designed to make local assistance resources accessible to people helping homeless Veterans and others in need.

Washington, D.C.—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the winner of a mobile application competition designed to make local assistance resources accessible to people helping homeless Veterans and others in need. The winner of the $25,000 prize was Reston, Va.-based Qbase, which developed “Homeless REACH.” VA’s Center for Innovation (VACI) sponsored the competition, called Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless), in collaboration with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.

The Obama Administration has made ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 a top priority, undertaking an unprecedented campaign partnering with HUD and hundreds of community organizations to dramatically increase awareness of VA services available for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless. This cooperation has helped reduce the estimated number of homeless Veterans living on our streets by nearly 17 percent, since 2009.

Project REACH sought creative and cost-efficient ways to use open data from VA, other government agencies and the private sector to locate valuable resources for the homeless in any locality across the country.

VA and its partners announced the five finalists at Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 2012. They were: Binary Group, Arlington, Va., who developed “Homeless Connections; John McCarthy, Forest Hills, N.Y., with “Reachous”; J.J.AppCo., with “Hero”; Makani Kai Tech, of Kihei, Hawaii, with “Help Beacon”; and Qbase’s app. The finalists were given time to improve their apps based on feedback from beta testers volunteering at Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, N.J.

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